Guys like bathroom humor.
Anything with farts is funny.
It doesn’t matter if the guy is 12 or 20 or even 34 like my husband.
A book about farts = must-read!
All that said, it goes without saying that this is one of my husband’s favorite books, and it was the only children’s book he brought to the table when we got married. It’s “Walter the Farting Dog” by William Kotzwinkle and Gleen Murray, illustrated by Audrey Colman.
It’s about a poor dog named Walter who farts all the time and can’t help it. I’m crazy about the illustrations, too. I love the 2D collage effect and all the bright, crazy colors. You have to take a good look at the details, too. For example, on the cover, see how Walter’s farts are literally knocking the kid’s socks off?
It’s fun for kids to see Walter’s farts flying all over the place, although they mildly resemble pollution.
Here is the funny dedication.
Here are the kids trying to give Walter a bath so they can get rid of the stink. I love the pop art on the green wall.
Here is Dad getting fed up with Walter’s flatulence. Look at the funny bird in the window and the spider on the ceiling lamp. Dad’s shirt is awesome, too.
They get Walter checked out by the vet…
…who prescribes some anti-fart doggie foods. (Look at the vet’s name on his certificates!)
But it doesn’t work, of course.
Here is Uncle blaming HIS OWN farts on Walter. Don’t ask why Walter is wearing a bowler. Look at the effect the artist uses to simulate his wagging tail. Awesome!
Here is Walter eating special fart-free doggie treats. He’s really trying not to be a fart machine.
But the treats just give him more farts than EVER! Here he is all bloated on the couch. The picture on the wall of the woman — does anyone know if the artist is parodying a famous work of art there? Maybe she’s just comparing Walter to a lady with PMS. See the spider on the couch in the painting?
Finally, Walter is vindicated when his farts repel a pair of thieves who are trying to steal the family’s possessions.
After that, everyone decides that Walter’s gas is actually pretty useful, and so they live smelly ever after. I love that everyone is wearing animal slippers in this one.
The closing picture hints at what wonders may result from Walter’s farts.
As far as the moral of the story goes, I think it’s good to teach kids not to judge others who are different. Nobody should be treated poorly because of things they can’t control (race, gender, disability) and non-moral issues (what they wear, how gassy they are).
We do need to teach kids how to discern between right and wrong, though. We need to prepare them to make moral judgments based on certain standards. For some, those are religious standards, while others base their morals on other standards. If kids aren’t prepared to stand for something, they’ll fall for anything, as the old saying goes.
If a person does something to violate those moral standards (steal or lie, for example), then our kids should have the gumption to hold those people accountable for their actions, pointing to their moral standards for backup, without being self-righteous or hypocritical about it. That’s a tall order for a kid. Most adults have yet to master it — including me!
We adults are constantly fighting about which standards to uphold. That’s because our moral standards differ. What some people think is OK other people think is wrong. This is something we’re not going to fix with a children’s book, although I’d really like to see someone give it a shot.
QUESTION OF THE DAY
Do you get a kick out of poop humor, or do you think it’s revolting?